Adrian Sutil: “Fifth place feels fantastic”
Adrian Sutil has explained how rising to 5th place during the Monaco Grand Prix felt fantastic in his Force India, after the German ace scythed through the field during the latter stages of the race. Whereas Adrian Sutil believes the red flag delay assisted him, team-mate Paul di Resta believes the safety car periods prevented him from excelling.
After the damp qualifying session for the Monaco Grand Prix, the Force India duo lined up on the grid 8th and 17th. With Paul di Resta unfortunately qualifying so low down the order, he elected for an aggressive strategy. However, with the numerous safety car periods and the red flag delay, the Scotsman firmly believes his strategy was hindered as he became stuck within the highly competitive midfield train.
Whereas Paul di Resta became stuck behind the likes of Jean-Eric Vergne in the Toro Rosso, team-mate Adrian Sutil threw caution to the wind and stormed up the inside of Jenson Button and then Fernando Alonso at Turn 6. As Sergio Perez and Kimi Raikkonen came together in the latter stages of the race, the German driver continued to rise through the order to eventually finish a strong 5th behind the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton. Adrian Sutil believes the red flag delay caused by Max Chilton and Pastor Maldonado greatly assisted his rise through the order, in what he described as a fantastic result for the team.
“Fifth place feels fantastic.” Enthused Adrian Sutil, “It’s just the result we needed and I’m very happy right now. The car felt very good and we made the most of the chances that came our way. It was difficult to move forward in the first half of the race when I was stuck in the train of cars, but the red flag opened up some more opportunities. It meant that everybody was on the same sprint strategy until the end of the race. I noticed that the hairpin was an area where there was a chance to overtake so I tried it with Jenson and it worked. Then I did the same with Fernando and it worked once again. So I think I showed that overtaking is possible in Monaco.”
Despite a highly frustrating qualifying performance for Paul di Resta, the 27-year-old felt the three safety car periods hindered his progress through the field. Due to his low starting position, di Resta opted for an aggressive strategy for the race with the aim of rising through the order. However, once the race was resumed after the red flag delay, the Scotsman became stuck behind Jean-Eric Vergne. However, two valuable points were scored by Paul di Resta who eventually finished 9th.
“Given where we started we went with an aggressive strategy and it probably would have paid off without the safety cars.” Explained Paul di Resta, “The pace was strong, but I was stuck behind lots of traffic in the early part of the race. I managed to pass a few cars going into Turn 1, but towards the end of the race the cars were more bunched up and it was not so easy. I was stuck behind Vergne after the restart and I had one good chance to overtake, but he defended very well. Fortunately with the cars ahead battling and making contact I made up some positions and scored a couple of points”
With Force India scoring a pivotal 12 points during the Monaco Grand Prix, four more than rivals McLaren, the Silverstone-based outfit have retained their position in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of McLaren. The duo will be hoping for another decent points finish next time out at the Canadian Grand Prix, as they strive to remain ahead in the ever-competitive midfield.
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